Sunday, March 29, 2015

Inner Mongolia's World Famous Library and The Lantern Festival Fun

So as March came in winter gave one last mighty gust of cold wind and snow. 

What you see in line on the streets here is a snow removal crew. No snowplows, just our street sweepers with shovels, some home made and some store bought. This was actually later in the week as most of the snow was melting away. 

Unless it is raining or we have fierce winds Darryl and I will take walks on Sunday after Church to get out of the house. (Because we 'attend' church on Skype with about 70 other members scattered through-out the far reaches of China) We wander through the different plazas and parks...

... and on this Sunday we decided to walk through the Ordos Library, (click on the words to see images on the internet) a world famous building that is remarkable both inside and out. It is designed to look like books that are stacked on a shelf. 


It was such a pleasant Sunday.

The Chinese New Year finished up with the Lantern Festival. 

The whole town was decorated with Lanterns and the plaza was transformed to a party and carnival grounds. It was still daylight when Darryl and I arrived at the plaza and we had a hard time moving through the area as so many people wanted to take pictures with us. I only took a couple of pictures, but we must have spent 30 minutes trying to go about 50 yards. 

The tall lady on the my left was so excited to get her picture with us that she bought me a traditional treat of sesame balls in a sweet milk sauce they were selling on the plaza. When I started eating them she was very pleased and she and her friend started laughing and telling me "Very good" when I ate them all. What kind people we have here.

The lanterns had riddles attached to them. If you could solve a riddle you received a prize.

Festivals and carnivals everywhere are pretty much the same. A lot of food, fun and games ....

We strolled by the food booths

We found a huge maze ...

and enjoyed the beautiful evening.

I won't lie, sometimes I feel like a celebrity here because people always want to take pictures with Darryl and me. When we say yes they are always happy and full of smiles.  

The fireworks were almost non-stop for 2 days and nights!

Coal mining is what makes the world go around in this part of the world. It's the reason we are here. They had some huge coal fires in place to warm the revelers.

What grand and wonderful experiences we are having here in China and how welcomed the people here always make us feel as we celebrate their festivals and holidays with them. God is good and is greatly blessing us in this life! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Demnont Crystal - My Friend Has Gone Home

Last weekend we learned that Kelly's Grandpa, Demont Crystal, had passed away. A bighearted friendly cowboy, he will be greatly missed. What a blessing it was to get to know him over the last several years. When I heard the news of his passing I had a picture in my minds eye of Demont meeting with his Heavenly Father and his Savior, Jesus Christ. I don't think he arrived walking, I imagine him riding up on his favorite horse with his hat on and a smile as big as the Idaho sky. This poem is for Glenna and the whole family. God Bless you all and may you find peace.

Demont has Gone Home   
                                by Cindy Sue Cunningham
The cowboys in heaven are happy today,
another top wrangler has come home to stay.

He’ll saddle up Wendy – ride through the tall grass,
looking for loved ones who this way did pass.

Sore joints, aches and pains will plague him no more
and joy fills his heart for what lies in store.

For you see all the stock on the prairies above
know of Demont and his care and his love.

So as our dear friend makes his way to the throne
his human and animal friends will be known.

They’ll walk him to where the gates are swung wide
And welcome him in for an eternal ride.

He’ll not need his spurs, but the joy he will feel
as once more he gallops and canters and wheels -   

His fine steed right up to the throne of God
where I’m sure our dear Savior will smile and nod . 

Demont will dismount and on bended knee
he’ll doff his hat and look up to see

The Father and Son with their arms open wide
to welcome him home from his grand Earthly ride!


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fun On the Ancient Wall of Xi'an

Viewing the City from the Wall of Xi'an. The inner city of Xi'an is surrounded by an ancient wall which dates from 582 A.D. when the west gate and south gates were built. The west gate served as the beginning of the Ancient Silk Road. (The silk Road dates back to 200 B.C.) 

Our first trip to the wall we entered through the South Gate that houses the courtyard of the Archers where a short show was put on by the guards and drummers.

Colorful decorations on the wall, the lawn and in the courtyard were up to celebrate the New Year. 

The gates and walls of this city are older than the more popular section of The Great Wall at Badaling in Beijing.

To walk the perimeter of the wall is almost 9 miles. 

We walked about 4 miles of the wall, taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful morning.

The South Gate.

A neighborhood inside the wall.

But the best way to see the wall is by bicycle. 

A view looking outside the wall.

The first time we rented a bicycle built for two....

On the second trip to the wall we enjoyed our walk from the east gate to the North Gate where we rented two bicycles and cycled around to the South Gate.

You can ride a boat on the moat outside the wall.

A Buddhist Temple and Monastery

All around the outside of the wall are parks, picnic areas, exercise areas and game areas.

The East Gate

I took the opportunity to have my picture taken with the guard.

Xi'an is definitely a must see city if you ever come to China. I will have one more post from Xi'an, just some odds and ends photos, and then on to other exciting adventures!